The Madrone is one of the Pacific north coast’s most beautiful trees. Although the Madrone is an evergreen tree it reflects the four seasons with true character, and it easily melds the seasons together in its smooth transition from one phase to another.
It forms large bunches of blossoms in the spring, like bunches of white grapes. Each blossom looks like a tiny white Chinese lantern. Later the new leaves start to bud and form, then the new bark grows a green layer under last years cinnamon-orange colored bark.
In summer, the older leaves turn a creamy yellow. Through the dry summer, they flutter to the ground during the infrequent warm gusts, leaving the tree with the bright evergreen color of new leaves. The bark curls that are shed in the summer are sometimes collected and used as tea.
In the fall of the year the Madrone berries ripen and become a favorite food of the Western Robin, Cedar Waxwing, Band-tailed Pigeon and Quail. Mule Deer also eat the young shoots when the trees are regenerating after fire.
The wood is sought for its heating capabilities during the winter, since it burns long and hot in fireplaces. It has become popular in the Pacific Northwest as a flooring material due to the durability of the wood and the warm color after finishing, and is also used in the construction of furniture.